Backstage Cafe offers reusable straws to curb plastic waste


Backstage Cafe now offers reusable straws. Cullen Granzen / Beacon Staff

By Kaitlyn Bryson

The Backstage Cafe now offers customers free reusable straws.

Emerson dining services chose to eliminate all plastic straws campus-wide at the beginning of the semester, Director of Operations for Dining Erik Zamudio said.

At first, the cafe offered paper straws. Now, Backstage Cafe should only offer reusable metal straws to customers, free of charge, Zamudio said. But as of Oct. 7, customers could still take plastic straws.

Zamudio said the cafe should receive a shipment of reusable straws once a week, and something must have gone wrong in the ordering process.

“This is something I am more than happy to address with the staff,” Zamudio said.

Carrie Cullen, a senior sustainability intern with two years of experience on the Sustainability Committee, said the use of plastic straws in the Backstage Cafe surprised her. However, because plastic straws only account for about one percent of plastic waste, she said she directed her focus elsewhere.

“I’ll certainly look into it now that a need has been expressed,” Cullen said. “In the meantime, I’d say that while straws are a very important resource for folks with accessibility needs, students who are able enough and wish to reduce plastic may consider not grabbing a straw or getting reusable straws for further use.”